Central Intelligence Agency

Central Intelligence Agency
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency.svg
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency
Flag of the United States Central Intelligence Agency.svg
Flag of the Central Intelligence Agency
Aerial view of the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters, Langley, Virginia - Corrected and Cropped.jpg
CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia
Agency overview
FormedSeptember 18, 1947 (1947-09-18)
Preceding agency
TypeIndependent (component of the Intelligence Community)
HeadquartersGeorge Bush Center for Intelligence
Langley, Virginia, U.S.
38°57′07″N 77°08′46″W / 38.95194°N 77.14611°W / 38.95194; -77.14611Coordinates: 38°57′07″N 77°08′46″W / 38.95194°N 77.14611°W / 38.95194; -77.14611
Motto"The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence."
Unofficial motto: "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)[2]
Employees21,575 (estimate)[3]
Annual budget$15 billion (as of 2013)[3][4][5]
Agency executives

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA /ˌs.ˈ/), known informally as the Agency[6] and historically as the Company,[7] is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT) and performing covert actions. As a principal member of the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States. President Harry S. Truman had created the Central Intelligence Group under the direction of a Director of Central Intelligence by presidential directive on January 22, 1946,[8] and this group was transformed into the Central Intelligence Agency by implementation of the National Security Act of 1947.

Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is a domestic security service, the CIA has no law enforcement function and is officially mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic intelligence collection.[9] The CIA serves as the national manager for the coordination of HUMINT activities across the U.S. intelligence community. It is the only agency authorized by law to carry out and oversee covert action at the behest of the President.[9][10][11][12] It exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Center.[13] The CIA was also instrumental in establishing intelligence services in several U.S. allied countries, such as Germany's BND. It has also provided support to many foreign political groups and governments, including planning, coordinating, training in torture, and technical support. It was involved in carrying out several regime changes, terrorist attacks, and planned assassinations of foreign leaders.[14][3]

Since 2004 the CIA is organized under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Despite transferring some of its powers to the DNI, the CIA has grown in size as a response to the September 11 attacks. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that in the fiscal year 2010, the CIA had the largest budget of all IC agencies, exceeding previous estimates.[3][15]

The CIA has increasingly expanded its role, including covert paramilitary operations.[3] One of its largest divisions, the Information Operations Center (IOC), has officially shifted focus from counter-terrorism to offensive cyber-operations.[16]

The agency has been the subject of many controversies, including human rights violations, domestic wiretapping and propaganda, and allegations of drug trafficking. It has also appeared in works of fiction, including books, films and video games.

  1. ^ "History of the CIA". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  2. ^ "CIA Observes 50th Anniversary of Original Headquarters Building Cornerstone Laying". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on March 24, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e Gellman, Barton; Miller, Greg (August 29, 2013). "U.S. spy network's successes, failures and objectives detailed in 'black budget' summary". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  4. ^ Kopel, Dave (July 28, 1997). "CIA Budget: An Unnecessary Secret". Cato Institute. Retrieved April 15, 2007.
  5. ^ "Cloak Over the CIA Budget". The Washington Post. November 29, 1999. Retrieved July 4, 2008 – via Federation of American Scientists.
  6. ^ "Central Intelligence Agency | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  7. ^ "Appeals: the Company". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  8. ^ "71. Presidential Directive on Coordination of Foreign Intelligence Activities". U.S. State Department Historian. January 22, 1946.
  9. ^ a b Aftergood, Steven (October 6, 2011). "Secrecy News: Reducing Overclassification Through Accountability". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  10. ^ Woodward, Bob (November 18, 2001). "Secret CIA Units Playing Central Combat Role". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  11. ^ "World Leaders – Paraguay". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  12. ^ Eimer, Charlotte (September 28, 2005). "Spotlight on US troops in Paraguay". BBC News. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  13. ^ Phillips, Tom (October 23, 2006). "Paraguay in a spin about Bush's alleged 100,000 acre hideaway". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  14. ^ Greg Grandin (2011). The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War. University of Chicago Press. p. 75. ISBN 9780226306902.
  15. ^ Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community (March 1, 1996). "Preparing for the 21st Century: An Appraisal of U.S. Intelligence. Chapter 13 – The Cost of Intelligence".
  16. ^ Gellman, Barton; Nakashima, Ellen (September 3, 2013). "U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show". The Washington Post.

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